The 2016 Ó Bhéal judges, poet Kathy D’Arcy and filmmaker Rossa Mullin, have chosen a winner: Dictionary Illustrations, by one of my favorite poetry filmmakers, the multi-talented Australian artist and musician Marie Craven. Actually, I’m doubly biased here, because it’s an adaptation of a poem by Sarah J. Sloat, an American poet and journalist living in Germany whose work I love (though sadly she has yet to put out a full-length collection). I’ve featured the video on the main site in the past, but it’s definitely worth another viewing:
Dictionary Illustrations was a perfect film poem because, remembering it, we can’t distinguish which parts were the words, which the images, which the sounds: each element harmonised perfectly with the others to create one discrete artwork. This effect is so rare, and so rewarding.
Craven had two other films on the shortlist, Joining the Lotus Eaters and One Dream Opening Into Many, so I suppose that gave her pretty good odds, but she was also up against some very tough competition, including a few films I would’ve been nearly as pleased to see win, so huge congratulations to Marie and to Sarah — and to the judges for a tough job well done.